A few weeks ago, I saw an ad in Art New England for the Hicks 50 Year Retrospective Show at the Addison, and the next day, I scurried up to see the show. You can read more about it on boston.com. The show is up in Andover until February 27, and then traveling to:
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
March 25 - August 7, 2011
October 1, 2011 - January 29, 2012
|Dimanche; made in Paris, 1960|
wrapped leather, linen, paper; 3 1/2 x 5 inches
This was the first time I had in-the-fiber exposure to Hicks' work. She is a pioneer in making objects and large scale (wow!) commissions of fiber and color. Hicks has worked all over the world, and has work in the permanent collections of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to name a few.
Hicks was born in 1934 in Nebraska. From 1954 to 1959 studied at Yale University with Josef Albers and Rico Lebrun. She has lived in Paris and New York since 1960's.
Josef Albers, Homage to the Square
The show is wonderfully curated, with a range of work from small weaving studies to large scale suspended or piled work, some of her tools and sketchbooks, and video. Because photography isn't allowed, I have to find images on the web and and give you some reference links and some images from the show.
I found my voice and my footing in my small work. It enabled me to build bridges between art, design, architecture, and decorative arts.
— Sheila Hicks
Prior to this, I just kept leafing through the Sheila Hicks: Weaving as a Metaphor book, (about which I recently posted). I have poured over images of her work in this book. Many of them are small-scale hand woven pieces that she did during the 1960's. Some images of her small works:
Ringlets, Made in Paris, 1993
Saint Louis Art Museum
Synthetic, metallic fiber, wool
|Rue Des Marronniers, 1973|
slit woven, wrapped, reversible
|Roulade Amazon, 1965|
6 3/4 x 3 1/2 in.
Printed paper reversible
crumpled, rolled pages from a natural history book,
a concept for larger works
7 x 3 1/2 in.
crushed, rolled and sewn
Printed paper reversible
planning for larger hanging forms
This piled piece is one of my favorites, in a room with a couple of other similar ones, but with different color palettes. They have such exciting material value! (the pic doesn't do justice...)
Linen and silk, Dimensions variable.
Museum of Modern Art
The Silk Rainforest, about 1975
silk, linen, and cotton, Smithsonian American Art Museum
image from Smithsonian website
silk, wool, linen and other fibers
I had a tinge of sorrow while at this show. My dear lifelong friend and mentor, Birgit, would have loved to see this show. She died last August, at the age of 85.Throughout my lifetime, Birgit supported me and my work. She jumped into her car and drove 3 hours to my open studios up until she was 81. She was a nurse at the UN in NYC, also in Paris, and my mentor in so many ways. Later in her life she became interested in weaving and fiber. I really miss her. When she is was in her 50's she revisited weaving and for several years enjoyed her loom. This is post is dedicated to you Bibban, with love.
|Birgit at the Eiffel Tower in the 50's|
|Bibban in the 60's|